Uruguay's President Luis Lacalle Pou returned home from an official trip to Qatar in search of trade opportunities for his country. He reached an agreement regarding visas while air routes and direct investments are being studied.
After landing in Montevideo Tuesday, Lacalle explained that with Qatar, we have complementary economies; they know the quality of food in the region and in our country.
The President also highlighted Uruguay's environmental concerns and observance of long-term rules made the country a good business partner.
Lacalle Pou also said he was satisfied after a meeting with Qatar Airways executives, with whom he discussed a plan to expand air connectivity with Uruguay, a country which lacked air services with some parts of the world.
The Uruguayan President also explained an agreement and three memoranda of understanding had been signed with the Emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad Al-Zani. These documents provide, among other issues, for mutual exemption from visa requirements for Qatari and Uruguayan citizens, which would make it easier for companies and investors to do businesses.
The memoranda pointed to the cooperation of both countries in matters of youth, sports, education and diplomatic training between the Artigas Foreign Service Institute of the Uruguayan Foreign Ministry and the Diplomatic Institute of the Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Lacalle also took steps to bring the eight international universities existing in Qatar closer to Uruguay's education programs. He also took part in two rounds of negotiations with the Qatar Chamber of Commerce to discuss food trade.
The President warned, however, that these were meetings of a preliminary nature, but he highlighted he now has a direct connection via Whatsapp with the Emir to build on what was achieved during his trip.
Landed to face a crisis in his coalition
As soon as he returned from his trip, Lacalle Pou announced in a press conference that he would ban a forestry bill promoted by his coalition partner, Senator Guido Manini Ríos. On Thursday, the President delivered to Manini Rios, leader of the governing coalition party, Cabildo Abierto, a text vetoing the forestry law approved by the Parliament on Wednesday with the votes of the lobbyists and the pro-parliamentary Front, as promised by the President upon his arrival from Qatar.
The law was approved by the Parliament this Wednesday with votes from both legislators of Cabildo Abierto (right) and the opposition party, Frente Amplio (left), which generated discomfort in the National Party, of which Lacalle Pou is a member. This is the first law vetoed by the president since he took office in March 2020.